Qualifying as a NOTAIRE
There are different routes the intending notaire may follow to qualify. The first one is the university route, the others are professional.
- The traditional university route, followed by the university graduate with a maitrise en droit or Master 1, requires the candidate to prepare and pass specialised Master 2 in notarial law (previously the Diplomes d'études superieures specialisées de droit notarial (DESSN)) and two years of practical training in a notarial office (four semesters) in conjunction with further university studies. So this requirement also involves studying at the same time as undertaking the stage (training period) . At the end of each semester the intending notaire must sit and pass one or more examinations, both written and oral. The areas of law and practice relevant to the notarial profession are of course exhaustively covered, with particular emphasis on civil law and commercial law. Only public law subjects are completely omitted. Progression to the next semester is dependent upon success in the examination. At the end of the training the successful candidate must present a training report or a dissertation. If this regarded as satisfactory the candidate is awarded the diplôme supérieur du notariat. He can then present himself to the Minister of Justice to be accepted as joining the notarial profession. If successful he gains the title notaire assistant and can work in an office of a notaire and can eventually become a notaire..
- Another route is provided by article 7 of the Decree 73-609, as amended, which has the policy of encouraging the staff working in a notarial office, although not possessing a law degree, to seek to qualify as notaires. The group of people for which this second method is designed includes those staff who have had considerable experience in positions of some seniority.
- First they must pass an examination organised by the Centre national de
l'enseignement professionnel notarial (CNEPN). This is organised once a year, and candidates can make a maximum of three attempts.
- Those with a law degree and Master 1 can join in here, without passing the examination.
- Then they must follow a one year course, passing the final exam, (gaining the diplôme d'aptitude aux fonctions de notaire) and
- then undertake a two year stage (professional training period),
- whilst also following a series of seminars and
- present finally a training Report.
- On completion they will have a certificat de fin de stage and a diplôme d'aptitude aux fonctions de notaire.
- (Editor's note; this item is being checked) A school-leaver route is possible.This involves having a baccalauréat, following a four year course at a Notarial School (école de notariat). They must then have at least nine years of "notarial" experience, six of which follow their achieving the diplôme de 1er clerc ou du diplôme de l'Institut des métiers du notariat (IMN). If they pass an exam they gain the diplôme d'aptitude aux fonctions de notaire.
- There is a final "parallel" route for entry into the profession, provided by article 4 of the Decree 73-609, as amended. This method is intended to facilitate entry by persons who have a law degree and have gained experience in parallel or complementary careers. It includes former judges of the ordinary courts, former law academics, former avocats aux conseils, former avocats and former avoués, the three later having at least two years' experience in their original practice. Finally, the list also includes persons who have had at least eight years' experience in the legal or tax service of a public or private firm employing at least three lawyers. They normally must pass an exam and a stage, which varies according to their experience.
- Other conditions:
- French nationality
- Good character
- No actions contrary to honesty, honour or good morals; nor resigning or being disciplined on account of any such actions
- No bankruptcy
- A maitrise en droit (law degree) or equivalent
- Have the notarial educational qualifications (i.e. diplôme supérieur du notariat, or diplôme d'aptitude aux fonctions de notaire with a certificat de fin de stage)
- Have followed special training in notarial office management, deontology (ethics), and the disciplinary code (since 1 January 2008).
Copyright © 1995-2008 J Lonbay. All rights reserved.
Revised: 29 September 2008
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